A start-up shopping site aims to create a new currency that lets consumers leverage their personal data with retailers.
The site Countr, which emerge with its official launch, counts a couple of hundred retailers on the platform, according to the company’s cofounder Manon Roux. Those retailers include Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie, Forever 21, Zara, One Kings Lane and others across apparel, furniture, beauty and technology.
The company, founded in 2013, has been in beta for the past three months with about 1,000 people testing the site. The test group was about evenly divided between men and women.
Customers can purchase everything from a single cart. Countr holds no inventory with individual retailers responsible for order fulfillment. The single cart is an offering that’s becoming a given for more and more web start-ups but where Countr hopes to be different is in the mix of retailers and categories they carry, along with the Countrweight score consumers can build on the site.
The score aggregates a shopper’s actions on the site, including sharing a link with friends, swapping advice, looking for deals and other moves a person would make while shopping online. The more activity, the higher the score, which can then be used to unlock deals or exclusives with retailers on the site.
“We’re helping consumers wield their personal shopping profile….The idea of Countr was born out of my own frustrations as a shopper,” Roux said. “I found the experience of online shopping was a little bit time consuming and completely impersonal and unfair. Retailers used your data to spam you with untimely and irrelevant ads. So wouldn’t it be great to use our data to our own advantage?”
On the flip side, Countr sees itself as a tool to help retailers refine their targeted marketing and reduce costs.
Next year, the company plans to add a merchant platform that would let retailers build out their own stores on the platform, called the Countr Seller Cloud. Even farther off in the distance, Roux said, brick-and-mortar presents additional opportunity for the company.
The New York-based company, with a team of eight workers, is so far self-funded and makes its money through the affiliate network, taking a percentage of each transaction closed.